Driving can cause massive anxiety if one considers the many instances in which a car crash can occur. However, it's not exactly something you can dispense with. A lot of chores in life require driving from one place to another and although taking public transportation is possible, it is far from efficient as having your own car.
So how exactly can you cope with driving anxiety? Remembering to relax is just one of them and for most people, reminding themselves to relax is just another way to cause further anxiety. In this article, you will find some techniques on how to cope with driving anxiety effectively.
Use Calming Music
If you're going to drive, try to put in a music that actually soothes your nerves. Do not opt for music that has a fast and loud beat as this prevents you from taking in what is going on around you. However, listening to something smooth and low should do tons for your anxiety. Binaural beats in particular have been known to help in boosting your focus while driving.
Caffeine is a known trigger for anxiety or any feelings of nervousness so make sure you don't drink any before sitting behind the wheel. If you usually drive in the morning, make sure you've consumed coffee at least 1 hour before going on the road. If the anxiety is particularly strong, you might want to postpone that coffee until after you've reached your destination.
Click here for more information about coping with driving anxiety. And below are just a few more tips to help you ease your anxiety while driving...
Chewing gum is a particularly effective technique for calming the nerves. Students who want to keep anxiety at bay often chew gum during a test and manage to actually score well in the exam. This is because the act of chewing or eating fools the body into thinking that it's in a safe situation. After all, how can you be in danger if you have the luxury of eating? You will find that chewing gum while driving increases your focus and lowers anxiety. Note though that you should confine this to chewing gum do NOT eat anything else while driving since this can put you at risk.
Have a Car Routine
Part of anxiety is fueled by the fear that while driving, the car fails on you. You can help ease this problem by doing a routine check on everything. For example, you can have the engine checked every year, the oil changed every several thousand miles and the tires checked and aired at least once a week. Before driving off, make sure that the mirrors are in their right position and that the lights are working, especially the headlights and the turn signals. Most importantly make sure the breaks and the gas are in perfect order. Don't forget to wear a seatbelt and for good measure keep your driver's license by your side at all times.
Comfort is Important
There are instances when the anxiety comes not from driving itself but the distance you have to travel. For example, driving from home to office and vice versa is not a problem but driving from one city to another can cause a panic attack. A good way to handle this is by ensuring that you're comfortable during the trip. A cushion for the chair, wearing the right clothes, and even the right shoes will help in keeping you relaxed. You can also make sure that there is a stop-over every few hours, thereby allowing you stress relief.
Figure Out Why
As with any other problem causing anxiety, it's important to consider exactly why this is happening. What is the actual cause of your anxiety? It can be the fear of driving in general or perhaps you're just afraid of going through a high-traffic area. There is also a chance that you're anxious because you're using a stick-shift gear or perhaps there's a construction in progress that is making you nervous. If any of these is problem, you can always plan your route accordingly. Travel during hours when traffic is not congested or find a safer alternate route.
For some people, driving anxiety is caused by a past car crash involving them. In cases like this, consulting professional help might be best. The great thing about driving anxiety is that it can disappear overtime. Each time you go on the road, you build a layer of confidence that makes it easier to take the wheel every day.